Beacon

LoT - Location of Things - Making Sense of IoT Data

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The world is awash in smart devices.  So much so that at times, these devices seem to dominate every aspect of life.  The city of Augsburg in Germany has gone so far as to embed traffic lights in the pavement, because "Pedestrians were so busy looking at their smartphones that they were ignoring traffic lights," according to an article by Rick Noack dated April 25, 2016 in washingtonpost.com titled "This city embedded traffic lights in the sidewalks so smartphone users don't have to look up."

Smartphones, smart engines, smart aircraft, smart cars, smart UPS delivery trucks, smart gas meters, smart Johnny Walker Blue Label whiskey labels, smart trash collection equipment, and smart cow locating/monitoring equipment...these are just some of the examples of the IoT as reported by Christina Mercer in the April 2016 issue of computerworldUK.com.   It's safe to say that the IoT is just getting started; the list of applications and devices and smart technology of all forms will only continue to grow.  She goes on to say, "Reports suggest there will be 25 billion internet-connected things by 2020..."

Behold the next major wave of development to follow the IoT:  It is called LoT -- Location of Things:  "When a concept is as far-reaching as the Internet of Things (IoT) — involving literally billions of elements — we need principles for organizing and making sense of the data it communicates.  That’s where an emerging IoT subcategory known the “location of things” comes into play. Location is a vital dimension of the IoT concept that encompasses the ability of “things” to sense and communicate their geographic position," from a blog by Christian Lundquist published on April 26, 2016 in internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com.

Of course we are familiar with GPS technology and search engines such as MapQuest, Bing, Google, etc., that help immensely with zeroing in on out-of-doors locations.  However, "Lots of our devices and sensors — along with other assets, people and content — are inside buildings, where GPS has no real reach. That’s where indoor positioning systems (IPS) are creating the next big buzz within the location of things. As IPS technology continues to be enhanced and as more apps that harness its power become available, we’ll see a slew of new data becoming part of the location of things," from the same article quoted above.  

For the business decision maker it quickly becomes apparent that such technology affords tremendous advantages.  If let's say you are warehousing and distributing large stores of Johnny Walker Blue Label whiskey, a smart label on each bottle might be very helpful in certain circumstances.  Same thing for very expensive equipment and tools -- if you happen to be in charge of a big factory or machine shop or warehouse, wouldn't you want to, for example:

-Understand where your high value assets are located at all times.

-Know where your vehicles are, all over the plant.

-Help keep your operating costs down with insight into how to improve logistics management and operating processes.

-Keep track of the 10,000 pallets you just shipped and to your factory's distribution center.

--From the NC_brochure_logistics_091815, downloaded from netclearance.com/industries.

Manage your assets and improve your logistics with superior insight -- using technology from Netclearance, at the cutting edge of the LoT - Location of Things.

Please contact us for more information about real-time tracking of high value assets and inventory, and about business intelligence, mobile customer engagement, and other workplace management solutions .  Thank you. 

 

 

Cryptocurrencies Accepted Here

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The topic of economics is on many people's minds, these days. Numerous presidential candidates discuss economic policy on the campaign trail and in debates with other candidates. Few of them mention Bitcoin, an innovative alternative to modern-day fiat currency. As Bitcoin increases in popularity, the candidates harm nobody but themselves when they ignore it.

For those unaware, fiat currency is the currency which is printed and minted by a country's government. This would include the Euro, the US, Canadian, and Australian Dollar, and the British pound. Fiat currencies are simply printed, and cannot be exchanged for their equivalent in precious metals, such as gold, silver, or platinum. Many economists point out that the oversupply of fiat currency leads to inflation, allowing governments to subtly manipulate prices. Bitcoin was created to solve this problem. It's an algorithm that cannot be counterfeited, and no more than 21 million can be created. Launched back in 2009, its popularity has steadily grown. Though primarily used for online transaction, there is a need for cryptocurrency use in retail in order to adjust to the ever-shifting market. 

Since Bitcoin does not exist in physical form, special hardware is needed to make transactions with it. Netclearance provides everything a business needs to expand its accepted forms of payment to fit the modern world of commerce. Our software is usable by iPhones and Android smartphones, and easily interfaces with existing Bitcoin wallets. We also provide hardware for cash registers and unattended vending, ushering your business into the future, whether you own a convenience store, restaurant, or grocery store.  Contact us today to find the solution that works best for you. 

Disintermediation of Payments Reduces Fraud and Error

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For the longest time, the payment system between you, your credit card, the store or merchant and the banks has been incredibly complex and prone to error or fraud.  Due to this system, companies and consumers across the country have paid more than their fair share for these errors.  The multi-party payment system is just about to change.

Fortunately, there is a new system for Disintermediation of Payments via Netclearance Systems. In this system, payment is direct and only requires three parties, so there is much less chance for fraud or error.  Under the old (current) system, payment flows from the buyer the credit card network (Visa or Mastercard), to their issuing bank , then to the merchant's bank, to the payment processor and finally to the merchant themselves.  This complicated process is fraught with risk and riddle with middle-men fees.  

Under the new Netclearance mBeaconPay solution, the only parties involved are the Consumer, the Merchant and the Bank - a three-party model.  Unlike other credit card based mobile payments systems such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay or PayPal, Netclearance has created an app-based mobile payment solution that removes the traditional payment processor thru a direct connection between the consumer, the merchant and the bank.  As long as the consumer downloads the free app on to their smart phone, they can simply place it over the merchant's Netclearance payment system and instantly transfer cash from their account to the merchant's account.  No need to wait for credit card confirmation or sign a piece of paper confirming the transaction.  The new system removes several of the fees normally levied in a traditional card payment  model.

In fact, the system has already taken off in the Nordic countries with over 20,000 locations enabled, such as McDonald's, Starbucks, Danish Supermarket and others are getting in on the action.

For more information please contact us.  We will provide a detailed overview of the new payment system and how it can help you reduce fraud and increase profits.

Headless ATMs Employ Proximity Technology to Reduce Fraud and Crime

The ATM card is a convenience that many bank customers take for granted. A swipe of the card at ubiquitous ATM machines offers fast, convenient access to cash. But ATM cards are old technology that bring unnecessary security risks. Skimmers can capture card and PIN numbers. Cards can also be easily misplaced or stolen. Swiping an ATM card is old school but it’s also high risk. New technology is paving the way for so-called headless ATMs whose features can reduce fraud and crime. By not relying on a physical card, new mobile technologies can make ATM transactions safer and more secure.

BMO Harris Ban, a unit of Canada’s Bank of Montreal, introduced a cardless ATM network intended to both reduce fraud and reduce the time needed to complete transactions, according to Pymnts.com. Bank customers prepare their transaction before arriving at an ATM. A banking app allows customers to pre-select how much money they wish to withdraw. Once they reach the machine, they simply hit the mobile cash button. The ATM reads a QR code on the smartphone, allowing the machine to dispense the cash and complete the transaction. The entire process leaves no way for a bank customer’s card to be lost or skimmed, Tom Ormseth, head of digital channels for Wintrust Financial Corp., tells Pymnts.com. However this method is cumbersome and requires additional changes to the ATM for scanning smartphones.

These new ATMs could help banks and their customers stay a step ahead of criminals. In 2014, bank customers lost $1.7 billion to debit, prepaid, and ATM fraud, Pymnt.com says, citing Federal Reserve figures. While new credit card technology employing EMV chips has made counterfeiting cards more difficult, most ATMs still do not use the new technology. “[Criminals] know there is still vulnerability [at the ATM] and they are trying to capitalize on it,” Owen Wild, director of security marketing at ATM maker NCR Corp. told the Wall Street Journal.

New technology offered by Netclearance can help ATM makers and banks make the transition to headless ATMs. The company’s mBeaconPay platform supports proximity applications conducted on smartphones and tablets. The technology handles transactions smoothly and securely plus it integrates seamlessly with the existing ATM controller. To learn more about how mBeaconPay can address your banking transactions needs, contact us.